Cisco says it's pulling all its ads from YouTube, after a report last month showing hundreds of orgs' ads next to videos about racist or inappropriate topics (Greg Sandoval/Business Insider)

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Cisco is dissatisfied with YouTube’s attempts to purge unsavory clips from the video-sharing site and has “pulled all online advertising,” from the site the networking giant said in a blog post.

“Some content platforms are not properly monitoring and categorizing the content on their sites,” wrote Karen Walker, Cisco’s chief marketing officer, the author of the post published Wednesday.

During the past two years, multiple media reports have chronicled how ads from family-friendly companies have appeared alongside videos promoting child porn, hate speech, and terrorism on YouTube. Google-owned YouTube, the world’s top video-sharing service, has battled to cleanse the site of offensive, disturbing and illegal material. The results of those efforts appear to be mixed.

Walker wrote in her blog post that Cisco has no plans to advertise at YouTube again “until the platform has met our standards.”

“We are incredibly grateful for the trust brands put in us every day,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. “We have partnered with advertisers to make significant changes to how we approach monetization on YouTube with stricter policies, better controls and greater transparency. We are committed to continuing this dialogue and getting this right.”

The blog post is unusual. Among big companies, taking a partner to task in public is not unprecedented but not very common and this may be a signal that the relationship between Cisco and YouTube has become strained.

Large advertisers potentially have a lot to lose when their ads appear next to offensive material. When the media first reported that ads from Fortune-400 companies were running alongside YouTube videos that featured racist propaganda or those used by terrorist groups to recruit members, large advertisers quickly removed their ads.

But the word recently was that YouTube’s recent changes to the site, such as using artificial intelligence to filter videos and hiring 10,000 employees to help monitor the site, had convinced companies to return to the site.

On Wall Street, the fear is that the issue could harm YouTube’s growing revenues, just at the time the world’s No. 1 video-sharing site appears to have become a major source of revenue for Google.

In Walker’s post, the marketing exec does not specifically identify what led to the decision to pull the videos. But she did write: “Sensitive issues in the media do sometimes spread faster than the media platforms’ algorithms can update, leading to what can be a brand-tarnishing experience.”

Three weeks ago, CNN reported that it had found ads from more than 300 companies and organizations, including government entities, appearing with content promoting Nazis, white nationalists and wild conspiracy theories. Cisco was among the 300.

Policing YouTube isn’t an easy task. Every minute more than 400 hours of video from across the globe is uploaded to the service.


This post was originally published here
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